Review: Shinobi Ninja Princess #1
In Shinobi by Martheus Wade and published by Action Lab, 14 year-old ninja princess Shianndrea Toshigawa and her strike team have a new mission: spy on their rivals, the Azumi Ninja Clan, and discover what secret dealings they have with the evil Emperor of Japan. But when the plan goes awry and fellow ninja Hamasuke is captured, can Shianndrea overcome her lack of confidence and save him before it’s too late?
Although the image of ninjas which we know is one which was made up for Japanese theater, it is nonetheless one which stays with us. They were not shrouded in all-black and many other aspects of what we think that we know of them in modern culture is also somewhat incorrect. It is fairly common in comics that ninjas have the same general appearance, if it is the Hand or the Foot Clan. Shinobi: Ninja Princess is not even particularly new in terms of its inaccuracies. Despite no evidence of such a role ever existing, there is not really such a thing as a ninja princess, but the idea of ninja princess is evident in many instances in the genre.
In terms of what the creative team has put together here though all of this is irrelevant. Lacking an original story, the writer has put his own spin on the sub-genre here, writing some characters that are a bit more engaging than the average ninja. The reason is that the focus here is not on stealthy assassination, but almost a coming-of-age story. There is a younger focus to this story, not necessarily in the demographic readership, but the story is full of playfulness. This is mostly between the characters, but it is written in a way which allows the reader to partake in the fun as well. At the same time the art is a perfect complement to the story as it focuses on a fun and almost sassy style for the lead heroine Shinobi.
The end result is a decent read. It is not going to compete with some of the heavy hitters in the medium, in either concept or characterization, but it is not trying to either. It seems as though the creative team is just trying to tell a fun story, and they have mostly succeeded. This story might be one that parents might want to invest in for their kids. The story would be fun enough for parent and child alike, achieving that uncommon bridge between generations.
Story and Art: Martheus Wade
Story: 7.3 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read
Action Lab provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review